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Monday, May 5, 2008

What do you do?

Title: Window to the Soul
Media: Mixed media with resin
Size: 76cm x 36cm
What do you do?

This is a question I've been asked a lot lately - I know it's used as an icebreaker and a means to extend the conversation further - but I also feel in a way it's an attempt to form an initial opinion of someone based on gross generalisations - eg. if you're an Engineer - they must be logical and practical ... a Dr is intelligent and caring ... a vet loves animals etc

I find this question increasingly difficult to answer as I have my finger in many pies at the moment ... do I choose one of my many jobs and say I'm a nurse ... well that's only a small part of my life ... do I say I'm an artist? ... but even that doesn't sum it up or give a very good explanation ...

So therefore I say, I'm a nurse, artist, business owner, manage the NZ Art Guild and solo mum to 2 kids .... well that answer seems to be a conversation killer ... in fact last night someone replied- "are you an over achiever or something" ... and another simply said ... "What?" with an incredibly quizzical look - like they couldn't grasp the concept I did multiple things to earn a living...

So what would happen if we interpreted this question differently. Instead of taking it to mean what do you do to make a living? How are you employed? What if we really threw a curve ball in the conversation and replied "I love and support my family and friends, am always there for them, stand up for what I beleive in, I cook great meals, go to art exhibitions etc" get the idea ....

I might try it next time ... just to see ... and maybe when someone asks what I paint - instead of saying "mixed media, abstract" - I will say "I paint my heart, soul and emotions"


The Artist In Me said...

Hi Sophia: I like your later answer to, "What do you do?" When people ask me that question I often have a hard time answering as well. Most of the time I answer, "An artist". However, I too am a family Auntie, a friend, a dancer, a singer, a lover of Christ...and the list goes on and on.

Be blessed!

Sophia Elise said...

Hi! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment :-) I'm pleased I'm not alone with this quandry on how to answer ... maybe we should start to make a change with the way we define ourselves to others - it would certainly shift the conversation and peoples perception .... :-)

Roo said...

I so hear you on this one. I will remember your answers the next time I get asked this exact question :-)
Great painting too

Kay said...

My answer might be "I used to be a human doing, but now I am learning to be a human being..."

No, I wouldn't really say that, but I would probably steer the conversation in that direction.

How about "Do you mean my paid employment, or are you asking about the things I am passionate about?" Mmmmm... I can feel the shock waves from Italy... Good luck!